You just received a sudden invitation to a wedding or company affair. It is a must to look dashing and elegant even on short notice. The only attire you can go for is to find the best dress shirt available. But due to your busy schedule, it's hard to find time and shop.
There is the temptation to buy online or ask someone's help to get you one. But how are you going to give them the correct size? And the sleeve length, how can you be sure it is the appropriate length?
Worry no more! This article will share some hacks to measure the ideal sleeve length accurately. Feel like a professional tailor once you finalize your measurements. The procedures vary based on your preference. You can do it with some assistance or just by yourself. Here's a tip, your sleeve length is not entirely about how long your arm is. The shoulder width and sleeve armhole shapes are also factors to consider.
It is a must to take note of this. It is necessary to achieve a cozy fit and comfortable movement of the upper body. Because besides looking great, you need to feel comfortable and confident. Ready to take on the challenge? Follow the easy steps below, and you can never go wrong!
How to Measure Sleeve Length?
Use Your Body as Reference
One way to accurately measure the sleeve length is, of course, using your body as a reference. You can ask someone to assist you in holding the vinyl measuring tape. Here are the following steps for your tandem to achieve success:
Stand straight and proud. Inform your assistant to position the measuring tape at the center of your back. The start point must align to where the neck is. Then extend the measuring tape to the end of your shoulder. It should be until the top of your arm.
Ask your assistant to measure from the shoulder until the wrist bone. Then consider where you intend to position the shirt cuff. Do not be too stiff when this measurement is taking place. Allow your elbow to relax, but do not bend it. If the elbow bends, the final sleeve length measurement will be shorter. As a result, it will not follow the natural form of the arm and can result in a poor fit.
Using the measurements from steps 1.1 and 1.2, add them together. Then round up the values to the nearest available sleeve length in the market. Please don't forget to thank the person who helped you out.
Accurate measurement is critical. You may not be a tailor, but be like one by using a flexible measuring tape of vinyl. It is a handy tool professional tailors use to get on-point quantifications. You can purchase this at any sewing store near you.
• Vinyl Measurement Tape
• A friend or assistant is willing to help you.
Use An Old Existing Shirt Whose Fit You Love
What if there is no one available to assist you? It is time to be resourceful in using your old dress shirts. First, approach your closet and find which one fits you the best. Once you have chosen your piece, it is time to determine your ideal sleeve length.
Lay the shirt flatly on an even surface with the backside up facing you. Then pull one sleeve out and stretch it as straight as possible. The surface that should be supporting the shirt must have a fixed position. The floor or a table is the ideal space to do this task.
Make sure that the dress shirt is all buttoned up during the measurement. If you fail to do this, the fabric can stretch and cause the length to be longer than intended. Also, make sure to smoothen the sleeve out as flat as possible for the best results.
Consider your dominant arm when measuring. The arm used frequently is the best reference. So if you are right-handed, measure the right. And if left-handed, measure the left. Ambidextrous? You can choose just one no need to do both.
Start at the measurement in the middle of the neck located below the collar. Press your finger down firmly on the measuring tape. Use your non-dominant hand to perform this. It should start at the seam underneath the collar. It is where the collar is sewn and attached to the shirt.
If you are unsure of the proper position, check where the clothing tag is. If it is attached to the inside collar, you can use this position as a starting point. You won't miss the middle of using this technique.
Once again, hold the measuring tape tightly. Set it along the sleeve until the end of the cuff. Measure from the top of the shoulder and until the top edge of the sleeve.
Add up the values from steps 2.2 and 2.3. Then round it up to the nearest sleeve size available in the market. Not confident what value it could be? Then use the closest 0.6 cm value (1/4 inch) on the measuring tape. It is enough allowance to ensure that the sleeves are not too short.
• Vinyl Measurement Tape
• An old shirt that you love the fit.
Use Your Arm Span to Determine the Sleeve Length
When it comes to measuring sleeve length, there are more ways than one to do it. It can be a good option if you feel more comfortable using your arm span. Like the first procedure, this method will also require some help from an assistant
Move to a location where you can lean on a flat wall. Stand up straight and upright like the confident gentleman you are. Remember slouching will make the measurements inaccurate because it will inhibit the arm span. Also, you don't want an ill-fitting shirt. So straighten up.
Stretch both arms as far as you can. Do not bend your elbows. The same goes with the fingers. Make sure the fingertips align with your arms. This method requires tip-to-tip measurement.
Ask your assistant to measure the length between the middle fingers. It should be starting from the left middle finger to the right middle finger or vice versa.
Compare the measurement readings with your height. You can use inches or centimeters, depending on your preference. Your height and arm span should almost be equal. Unlike the first two steps, you don't need to add any values here. But rather divide it into two, then round it up to the nearest arm sleeve length on the size chart.
• Vinyl Measurement Tape
• A reliable assistant is willing to help.
• In this method, you can also use a surveyor measuring tape.
Use a String and Ruler if a Tape Measure is not Available
Not every household has a vinyl tape-measure or a surveyor measuring tape. There is another way to measure your sleeve length using things available at home. However, like methods 1 and 3, you will need an assistant to accomplish this.
Get a durable set of strings. Relax your shoulders and look straight ahead. Ask your assistant to find the center of your neck. Then run the string across the top of your shoulder until over the outside of the deltoid. If you are unsure where that is, consider the tip of the shoulder aligned to the armpit.
The assistant should hold the string firmly in place. Then extend the string to the arms. Do so until it reaches the middle of the hand. After that, cut the string; it will represent your arm length.
Using the cut string, lie it flat on the floor or a table. Then using a ruler, get the measurement in centimeters or inches. You don't need to put an allowance. The measurement extended to half of your hand is enough once the quantification is complete. If necessary, round it up to the closest arm length size available.
If you live alone, you can take these materials to the workplace and ask for help. Surely a person or two will be more than happy to assist you.
• Durable string thread
• A reliable assistant is willing to help.
• Plastic or Wooden Ruler
Self Measure Using a Vinyl Measuring Tape
Are you the type that feels only at ease if the task is done by yourself accurately? If yes, then here is a measurement method you can do. Of course, it could be a bit less precise, but there is a way to correct that. Curious? Read on to find out.
Take a vinyl measuring tape while facing a mirror. Relax your shoulders, stand straight and look forward. From the tip of the shoulder, align to the armpit start the measurement. Let the tape measure run across your arm. Make sure the arm you are measuring is not crooked.
Grip the tape measure in between your fingers. Read the length measured by your wrist and record.
Measure the distance between the tip of your neck to the tip of your shoulder. The position must be the same as you used in step 5.1. Again, check the reading and record.
Add the measurements from steps 5.2 to 5.3. Since you did not measure from the center of the neck, add two inches after rounding up to the nearest sleeve size.
This method has a lot of estimates, so repeat the procedure at least three times. Also, keep in mind to measure your dominant arm for better accuracy.
• Vinyl Measuring Tape
• Body Mirror
So far, we have discussed how to measure the sleeve length considering long-sleeved shirts. But what if the occasion calls for short sleeves? Here are some tips on how you can do it accurately.
Additional Information to Measure Sleeve Length
Use Your Favorite Short Sleeve Shirt
We have done it with the dress shirt. The method is similar to the short sleeve shirt. Before starting, make sure the shirt is all buttoned up.
Then instead of starting from the center of the neck, you will begin at the tip of the shoulder. It is where the sleeve is sewn, and drag it down to the end of the short sleeve. After that, choose the nearest size based on the short sleeve chart.
Directly Measure Your Body
Begin by standing up straight and looking forward in front of the mirror. Next, from the tip of your shoulder aligned to the armpit, let the tape measure run through it. Read the on the spot where you want the short sleeve to end. Finally, choose the most appropriate short sleeve length based on the readings.
For this method, you can use a ruler. It can be a substitute for vinyl measuring tape. Short sleeves barely need to be a foot long; that is why an average ruler will do.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the standard sleeve length measure of men in dress shirts?
The usual size falls between 34 to 36 inches on average. If your size falls in this category, finding a dress shirt won't be hard. The store will most like have a lot of stock with this size.
I saw a dress shirt tag with two numbers on it. An example is 34/35. What does it mean?
The first number, 34, indicates the neck size. The second number, 35, stands for the sleeve length. Be careful not to interchange the numbers!
I am sending my dress shirt sleeve length to the tailor. Should I make allowances?
No, you don't need to add allowances to your measured values. The professional tailor will make the necessary adjustments for the perfect fit.
I want a sleeve that is not too tight. How do I measure the size of the arm sleeve?
Measure the area where the bicep area width is the biggest. Then measure the widest size of your forearm, which is about three centimeters away from the elbow.